The RAF's entire fleet of Tornado ground attack aircraft could be rushed out of service because of a fresh spending crisis at the Ministry of Defence, the Guardian has learned.
With the department trying to find an extra £1bn savings before the end of the spending round next month, ministers and senior military officials have been presented with a range of unpalatable options.
One involves the immediate withdrawal of the RAF's eight Tornado fighters in Afghanistan, followed by an accelerated withdrawal of the rest of the fleet from service, possibly within three years. Other options include axing thousands more soldiers from non-combat units in the army, or withdrawing more ships from the Royal Navy's already diminished fleet.
I agree with you totally there. I am very impressed with the Royal Navy over this. Fingers crossed we will get some maritime patrol aircraft as we certainly need them.
Here is another example of our governments terrible ill thought out decisions:
We cant cancel the F-35
Very roughly about 20% of it is British and it will provide thousands of jobs, provide tax revenue and maintain a technological skills base for the future amongst other things.
It is a fourth generation fighter and the magic is in the systems and sensors, its radar is not just a radar but a weapon system in itself, and that comes at a price.
CASA's ......even better we can share training , spares etc with Ireland and it has a ramp...... ideal for medevacs and dropping stuff.
Sentinel was designed for the Cold War it's obsolete and the terrain in Afghanistan produces real problems for it. It was designed to detect moving tanks and logistic tails so they could be hit by MLRS .
RC-135: its a better platform all round and the magic inside is way ahead of the Nimrod it also has all the infrastructure in place , same engines as E-3, allready, training, maintenance ......etc etc.
You are right on the button, but I think we will find that they will be withdrawn 'completely' very much sooner.........If the govenment and their MoD accountants have their way 'All' the Armed Forces would be closed down and put out to Private Tender with a company from Abroad !
I am lucky if I remember to turn the camera on and remove the lens cap!!!!, but I have a go.
Looks like the RAF are losing two Tornado Squadron's in announcement today:- 13 Sqn at Marham and 14 Sqn at Lossiemouth.
Does anyone know what UK defense spending will be as a % of GDP? It has to be at a historical low.
How will all of these cuts affect the ability to support the Falkland Islands? If Argentina were to try something again I know there are many more forces on the ground now but could these forces actually be supported in a hostile enviroment.
You are right it is a complete shambles. How are our armed forces supposed to protect our own country let alone any one elses with these terrible cuts!
Its interesting that it has been reported that when David Cameron was in Cairo recently he left Nick Clegg in charge of the country. Fair enough he is the Deputy PM but apparently he forgot he was supposed to be running the country as he went on holiday to Switzerland!
A COMPLETE SHAMBLES!
Since 1980 and the big bang in the city of London this country and has been living on debt and our lenders want it back.
We took on ridiculous levels of debt to fund lifestyles that we could never really afford and now and for decades to come we will revert to a pre 1980's levels of consumption and expenditure. Ask the Governor of the Bank of England .Our defence capabilities are no different.
Our armed forces have grown beyond what we can afford and we have to get to a level of expendure that we can afford and is sensible
Trident, aircraft carriers , fourth generation fighters ........they are for superpowers not second level European states like the UK
We need a sensible level of capability like the Scandinavians
As long as we have a decent sized air force and fleet air arm to be able to defend the UK, the Falklands and be able to undertake a few other minor conflicts like a no fly zone over Libya then i am sure we will all be happy. Unfortunately the fixed wing capability of our fleet air arm has been demolished and the RAF is being reduced far below an acceptable level. Germany and France will each have more than double the number of fighters than we will have.
Just about every current major program started out with pricing based on inflated quantities aircraft (F22/EF2000/F35). Probably to get the program launched by making it look more affordable. The EF2000 (Typhoon) started out with far higher numbers of aircraft being required by all 4 user nations . Over its prolonged development the political landscape changed and the threat changed , leading all the partner nations to slash requirements . Result the unit price went up . The F35 is moving down the same road , with the USAF quantity originally being a 1 for 1 replacement for its F16 fleet of 15 years ago (700+) . Already as potential order numbers drop as forces down-size, the unit price has passed the $100M mark and is still climbing .... net result further reduced quantities and hence yet further hikes in unit price. Maybe part of the problem is these programs take so long , 15 + years is not uncommon from launch to service entry. By the time they enter service , the original need for which they were conceived is consigned to history. Also consider the impact of changes of Government every 4-5 years.
Now the Air Force Chief of Staff says the RAF is stretched to its limit, but can cope with a continued six month operation over Libya, but the Force will need reinvesting in 2014-15.
I hope there's some money left for reinvesting with this current operation adding to everything else.